When you are a writer or a blogger (and there is a difference) you have a certain set of tools that you either are born with or you acquire along the way, to be able to do what it is you actually do. You have to be able to write for both; you have to be interesting for the most part, you have to be able to represent your brand to the best of your ability, and you have to develop a thick skin. The thick skin part usually doesn’t come naturally, but I imagine there have got to be a lot of people out there that were just born with it. In my case I had to develop the tools to maintain a certain level of thick skin, or else give up on writing and blogging all together. Unfortunately one of the things that comes about or are even fostered by your thick skin is your empathy for others.
I developed my thick skin purely because I couldn’t write anything without it. Nobody is universally liked, and as I say all the time, you can’t cater what you do to the people that hate you. They are actually a much smaller faction of people in general than the other two factions, people who like you, and people who really just don’t care about you. Of course I hate to ruin people’s day by stating this but people who really just don’t care about you are the greatest of the three factions. The good news is that the people who really don’t care about you are a very large pool of people to tap into to create the other two, and yes you need to keep in mind that you aren’t going to make everyone like you, and some will hate you.
Now the thick skin comes into effect because you either learn that the people that hate you don’t matter, the people who really don’t care about you probably won’t change that opinion, and there is always the possibility that the people who like you will become one of the other two factions. Life is unfair, and once you accept that you have very little to do with that in the end, you get a wonderful feeling of calm that can’t be explained. Would I like to be universally adored? Of course wouldn’t anyone? Is it possible? Not hardly. Of course as I went through that inner struggle to be what I am today, I had to learn that there are a lot of people that aren’t there yet, and a lot of people who may never get there. This is where the empathy comes in, especially if something I do drags someone else into the fray of all the people who either like me, hate me or don’t care about me.
Yesterday I did something ridiculously stupid, and I am only telling people about this because my empathy wants to keep others from doing something this stupid and then suffering all of that conscience crap that comes along from being empathetic. I reposted a couple of pictures of women who body build that I thought looked pretty damn good. I added my own commentary of course on how bodybuilding doesn’t make women big, poor diets and no exercise do, because it is a point I have been trying to make for years. Not lifting weights because you don’t want to be huge is what I always call an excuse to stay fat, but I forgot that what I did was imposed my opinions on the image of another person. Many felt that it was time to take me down a notch at the expense of someone who was innocent to my opinions. It’s the main reason I don’t like to repost.
The worst of it all was that someone who posts a lot of “Christian” stuff copied one of the pictures and then posted it to her photo galleries so she could talk about how the woman looked like a man. I saw this in my stream, and a trail of vitriol from the rest of her “Christian” friends all placed on someone who was innocent of this, aside from the fact that I reposted the picture. I was ashamed of myself, and more over I did something even more stupid. I pointed out in the comments of that image how very small I thought everyone was. Now I am blocked from that person’s profile (which is good really what a scumbag) and I still feel a bit guilty. The moral of the story is, “watch what you subject someone else to, because you may have empathy for it,” regardless of how thick your skin is when it comes to yourself. I learned my lesson again.